Duty, simply said, is what we “ought” to do in a given situation. In our society, children have a duty to their parents and parents to their children. Those in the military have a duty to their country. Teachers have a duty to their students. Duty can be defined as obligatory conduct, service, or functions that arise from one’s position in life. In our position as Christian believers, to whom do we have a duty, and what is that duty? What is it that we ought to do?
DUTY TO GOD AND HIS HOUSEHOLD
Our first duty is to our heavenly Father.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [reverence, love] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
We are to lovingly reverence God and do His Word. This is the whole duty of every man and woman. Here is how Jesus Christ described our duty to God.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Within our duty is abundant opportunity to give and grow. We are the ones who are the most blessed for doing our duty in love. Fulfilling our duty in love is not a burden but a great joy!
I John 5:3:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous [burdensome].
When we love God, we learn to love His children—our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our duty to the household of God is to faithfully love God and keep His commandments, to love one another, and to serve one another in love.
I John 5:1,2:
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
DUTY TO SELF
God’s Word shows us that Christian believers not only have a body and a soul, but they also have God’s gift of holy spirit. As sons and daughters of God, we have a duty to self—we are to joyfully maximize our lives physically, mentally, and spiritually by going to God, loving Him, and allowing Him to bless us.
We have a duty to self to believe that we are who God says we are and to act accordingly. He tells us in His Word that we are
- complete in Christ—“And ye are complete in him…” (Colossians 2:10);
- spiritually blessed—“…who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3);
- able to do—“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13);
- ambassadors for Christ—“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…” (II Corinthians 5:20);
- more than conquerors—“…we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).
We have a duty to self to prove our own work and to carry out our own responsibilities in standing on the Word.
But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
For every man shall bear his own burden [responsibilities].
DUTY TO OTHERS AND SOCIETY
Our simple duty to others and the society in which we live is to love God and keep His commandments, to do good unto all, and to lead people to our heavenly Father and His tender care. We make a special effort to do good to God’s people, and we are always ready to bless anyone when we have the opportunity.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
We freely give of what we have available to share.
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
…freely ye have received, freely give.
And walking in the steps of Jesus Christ, we go to the valley of human need to bring others to God’s goodness, power, and abundance.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
For born-again believers, duty is a joyful opportunity to do what we ought to do for God and His people, for ourselves, and for others. When we lovingly perform our duty, we are the most blessed as we see God’s goodness, power, and abundance manifested in our lives and in the lives of those we reach. Let’s joyfully carry out our duty!